Alert Follow us at @49erswz until Twitter fixes the issues with our official account.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Made the Right Choice With Punter Mitch Wishnowsky

Levin T. Black
Apr 27, 2019 at 12:27 PM2


The San Francisco 49ers took punter Mitch Wishnowsky in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Yes, a punter in the fourth round. Many are upset with the pick but make no mistake it was a quality choice.

This is simple. The 49ers de facto biggest need was punter because it was the only position the 49ers didn't have any options at on the roster. Furthermore, Wishnowsky is not just the top punter in the draft, he's the only punter worth drafting this year.

Could the 49ers have passed on him in the fourth and taken him in the fifth instead? Perhaps. He may have made it to the 10th pick in the fifth round but there was no guarantee. The risk outweighed the reward.

There aren't any quality veteran punters available. The risk of missing out on Wishnowsky was being forced to overspend on a below average punter in free agency. The 49ers didn't want to be left holding the bag. It really is that simple.

Wishnowsky is quite the prospect too. Wishnowsky was a consensus All-American in 2016 and averaged 45.7 yards on 175 punts in his college career. For a comparison, 49ers former punter Bradley Pinion, who was a fifth round selection in 2015, averaged 41.1 yards on 140 punts in college.

The 45.7 yards that Wishnowsky averaged in college is higher that the Seattle Seahawks Michael Dickson. All Dickson did in his rookie season in 2018 was be named first team All-Pro.

Wishnowsky is viewed as one of the best punter prospects in recent seasons for good reason. The 49ers couldn't wait because it was known multiple teams were interested in him. Take a look at this Jim Nagy tweet from March.


One of those west coach scouts Nagy references was the late Reggie Cobb. The long-time 49ers scout passed away recently at the age of 50. According to The Athletic's Matt Barrows, Cobb was integral in getting the 49ers to draft Wishnowsky.


The uniqueness of the 6-foot-2-inch punter goes well beyond being able to punt 45-plus yards. He played Australian Rules Football in Perth and while he's better with his right, reportedly can kick with either leg. He also ran a 4.63 second 40-yard dash. That's a tick faster than 49ers linebacker Fred Warner.

Fake punts are a big threat for the 49ers now. Take a look at how the Los Angeles Rams utilize Johnny Hekker and you'll see how the fear of a fake can affect opponents. Even if the 49ers never run a fake, the potential to do so will change how opponents have to defend punts.

At the end of the day, the 49ers got a very good punter who can handle kickoff duties and opens up the possibilities of fakes for a mid-round pick. It's not an exciting pick but it was absolutely the right pick to make.
  • Levin T. Black
  • Written by:
    A graduate of Ball State University in 2009, Levin was an award winning sports journalist until he transitioned into a different career. He's written for Webzone since 2018.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


2 Comments

  • William Bruneau
    I agree completely. The Patriots would have taken him a few spots later. Have you looked at his highlight film? He faked a kickoff and recovered it himself. He faked a punt and ran 20 yards for a first down. He's a friggen rugby player, so is a maniac for contact, rather than fearsome. I can't wait to see all the things Hightower pulls off with this dude. It's going to be fun!
    May 4, 2019 at 8:16 PM
    0
  • Mako1969
    Yes, punter Mitch Wishnowsky will be an immediate upgrade to an offensive line that ranked in the bottom 10 in pass protection and gave up the 3rd most QB hits. The top seven out of 11 OL's were on teams that made the playoffs, with all of the final four playoff teams in the top 11. Five of the first ten picks, including 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7, were teams in the bottom 10.
    Apr 27, 2019 at 1:13 PM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



'He taught me a ton': 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo talks Bill Belichick, says ankle has made 'big jumps'

By David Bonilla
Oct 21, 2020

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo joined KNBR on Wednesday morning as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to head on the road to face his former squad, the New England Patriots. Garoppolo spent his first three-and-a-half NFL seasons there learning behind future Hall of Famer Tom Brady under the tutelage of Bill Belichick. The Patriots head coach spoke with 49ers reporters on Monday and praised Garoppolo. "I mean, he's a quality player," Belichick said on a conference call. "The 49ers gave him a high contract that, you know, reflected their confidence in him going forward to lead their team, won the NFC Championship last year behind him. So, I think that all speaks for itself." During Wednesday's radio interview, Garoppolo was asked about Belichick's comments

Read the Full Article


Breer: WR Dante Pettis 'made available' by 49ers for trade

By David Bonilla
Oct 22, 2020

On Thursday morning, ESPN named wide receiver Dante Pettis as the most-likely San Francisco 49ers candidate to be traded before the November 3 deadline. According to a report by Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the 49ers have made the third-year receiver available (h/t to Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports). "The Niners have made available a receiver they once had high hopes for, in Dante Pettis," wrote

Read the Full Article


Peter King: 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo proving his doubters right

By David Bonilla
Oct 12, 2020

Peter King went through his list of "Goats of the Week" in his latest Football Morning in America column for NBC Sports. No, not G.O.A.T., as in the greatest of all time. Although, one of those — Tom Brady — was on the list for his fourth-quarter mishap against the Chicago Bears. It's for the scapegoats, or those bearing much of the blame, of the week. Another quarterback — Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers — made King's list. The 49ers signal-caller was returning after missing two games due to a high-ankle sprain. Garoppolo earned a career-low passer rating of 15.7 before being benched at halftime and replaced with C.J.

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by Levin T. Black

All Articles by Levin T. Black

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone